Seehofer for “complete hardship” against anti-Semitism | Free press

Berlin (dpa) – After the sometimes violent protests against Israel’s actions in the Gaza conflict, politicians and associations are warning of growing anti-Semitism in Germany.

Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) announced a crackdown on attacks on Jewish institutions. “We will not tolerate Israeli flags burning on German soil and attacking Jewish facilities,” he told Bild am Sonntag. “Anyone who spreads anti-Semitic hatred will feel the full harshness of the rule of law.”

In view of the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Hamas in the Middle East, thousands of people took to the streets in German cities on Saturday to show their solidarity with the Palestinians. Several demonstrations led to incidents and riots, the worst of which took place in Berlin.

There, the situation escalated after police cut off a demonstration in the Neukölln district for non-compliance with corona distance rules. Protesters beat police officers and threw stones and bottles at them. Fireworks were also thrown. Police reports on Sunday said 93 officers were injured and 59 people were arrested, including for grave peace violations, dangerous bodily harm, assault on law enforcement officers and the release of prisoners.

In the days before, there had been anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli demonstrations in several German cities, including lighting Israeli flags. At the same time, there were solidarity rallies for the Israeli people in many places.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier again called for a common fight against anti-Semitism: “We also see anti-Semitic hatred in our streets. Nothing justifies the threat to Jews in Germany or attacks on synagogues in our cities, ”Steinmeier said on Sunday at the end of the Ecumenical Church Congress in Frankfurt. “Let’s face this hatred together!”

Seehofer stressed that Germany should not be a “safe haven for terrorists”. “The security authorities are wide awake and are doing everything they can to protect the people of our country. Jews in Germany should never again be allowed to live in fear. The minister offered the federal police forces human and material support. Against the background of the ongoing conflict, “assembly-type crimes” are to be expected, he said.

The SPD faction in the Bundestag called for stricter criminal law. “Inciting insults against Jews, for example, must now become a punishable offense in time,” said Welt SPD representative Dirk Wiese, referring to the bill planned by the grand coalition on allegedly inciting insults. Association bans must also be “carefully” examined in this context.

The domestic political spokesman for the group of the Union, Mathias Middelberg, sees shortages in migration policy as the cause of the attacks. “The anti-Semitic failures, especially by young people of Arab descent or right-wing extremists of Turkish descent, in the demonstrations must be legally punished,” said the CDU politician of the German news agency.

Immigration must “maintain a level that still makes integration possible,” explains Middelberg. The commitment to integration must be intensified in a targeted manner. The success control should become more efficient here. “The conflict in the Middle East must be a problem in our schools,” demanded Middelberg.

The chairman of the Central Council for Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, warned of a wave of anti-Semitism. “For days on end, gangs sow pure hatred for Jews in many German cities. They recite the worst slogans against Jews and recall the darkest times in German history, ”Schuster said on Sunday. The police must act against it consistently. “Anti-Semitism should not be spread under the guise of freedom of assembly. The Muslim associations and imams must have a moderating effect, ”said Schuster. Muslim associations such as the Central Muslim Council had previously strongly condemned attacks on Jewish institutions.

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